RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF REENTRY PROGRAMS
Summary: This Resolution serves to raise awareness of the need for sound reentry policies. Roughly 96% of all incarcerated individuals will be released from prison and smart reentry policies will help reduce recidivism rates and make the public safer.
WHEREAS, every person is endowed with human dignity and value; WHEREAS, redemption and second chances are American values; WHEREAS, approximately 65 million Americans have a criminal record;
WHEREAS, people with a criminal record face significant barriers including an inability to secure housing, meaningful employment or education, volunteer in their community, and must pay for significant debt that arises as a result of their conviction and incarceration;
WHEREAS, the Council of State Governments reports that the number of legal collateral consequences of a criminal conviction exceeds 48,000;
WHEREAS, these barriers can contribute to recidivism, which increases victimization and decreases public safety;
WHEREAS, these barriers result in lost human capital and lost economic output for the United States;
WHEREAS, incarcerated individuals should have access to substance abuse treatment programs, cognitive behavioral therapy, education programs, job training programs, evidence-based programs, and mentorship programs conducted by nonprofits, faith-based organizations, private companies, or government agencies in order to promote second chances and public safety;
WHEREAS, opportunities to raise public awareness about the issues of collateral consequences and reentry ought to be embraced;
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that states should seek to develop and implement sound reentry policies that promote public safety, reduce recidivism rates, and offer offenders second chances and that states should designate the month of April to be Second Chance Month in order to raise awareness for the need for policies that address collateral consequences of a criminal conviction.